The controversial lockout laws, which were introduced in 2014 to quell alcohol fuelled violence, will be lifted as of 8th March 2021.
Venues in the area will soon be able to accept patrons after 1.30am and serve drinks in glasses, rather than plastic cups. The ‘last drinks’ rule will remain but will be moved to 3.30am.
The lockout laws were implemented by former Premier, Barry O’Farrell, after two Sydney teenagers were killed in one punch attacks. While violence in the area has since declined, a 2019 parliamentary inquiry found NSW may have been be foregoing up to $16 billion in economic activity as a result of the laws.
The controversial changes follow NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian’s, vow to revive Sydney’s “vibrant night-time economy.” Berejiklian told the Sydney Morning Herald that she expected the adjustments would allow Kings Cross “to continue to evolve into a vibrant lifestyle and cultural destination.”
While the Premier moved to ease restrictions in Sydney’s CBD and Oxford Street in January 2021, lockdown laws remained in Kings Cross on advice of law enforcement and health authorities.
Independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, welcomed the new conditions, telling the NewDaily that the area had changed since 2014 when lockout laws were introduced.
“The 24-hour beer barns are gone, and a more sophisticated dining, small bar, and entertainment offering is ready to thrive,” he said.
In an economy damaged by government restrictions and COVID constraints, these changes could well be the kiss of life for Kings Cross.
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